Netflix Pulls ‘Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj’ For Criticizing Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman
Since taking over Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been a lighting rod for controversy. After the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year almost everyone but President Donald Trump was pointing fingers at the Crown Prince. However, it now appears that the act of not standing up to bin Salman has been adopted by Netflix as well.
An episode of Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj covered the journalist’s death and placed the blame on bin Salman, calling it “the biggest tragedy of the MBS era.” Hasan Minhaj also called for Silicon Valley companies to cut their ties with the Middle Eastern country. Khashoggi’s death caused Ari Emanuel‘s Endeavor company to return a $400 million investment it had received from the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Artists like the Black Eyed Peas and Jason DeRulo cancelled planned appearances in the country.
Though the episode remains on YouTube, it’s currently removed from Netflix in Saudi Arabia after a legal request by the country’s government according to Netflix. A spokesperson for the company said, “We strongly support artistic freedom and removed this episode only in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law.”
Minhaj mocked Saudi Arabia’s ability to keep a story straight about Khashoggi’s death in the episode and said the country’s confusing and often changing account of its leaders’ involvement in the killing was done to protect Crown Prince Mohammed’s international reputation as a reformer in the Middle East. He’s since lost that.
“This is the most unbelievable cover story since Blake Shelton won Sexiest Man Alive. Are you kidding me?” Minhaj, a Muslim-American comedian, said.
The YouTube video of the show now has 1.3 million views. Here it is below.
Karen Attiah, Khashoggi’s editor at The Washington Post, called the move regarding the episode “quite outrageous.”
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!